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The Latest Foodie News in Alexandria–New Restaurants, Cherry Challenge Winners

Roast chicken- Junction Bakery is offering a delicious roast chicken dinner for the entire family. Photo: Amanda Hoey/WildHeart Media

by Debby Critchley

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Let’s start with some really good news from Society Fair, 277 S Washington St. Owner Nadine Brown posted: “Because of all of you and a generous landlord we will NOT be closing after service [tomorrow]. We have many changes coming and hope to be able to provide cake and gumbo for years to come.” You can try some of their offerings on March 23, 2-6 pm, at their food and wine tastings in the Atrium.

You can sample dozens of domestic and international wines from some of the nation’s top importers and distributors of fine wine. There will be food stations, blind tasting seminars, wine-toss games, music, kids’ activities and much more.

Society Fair offers an amazing selection of prepared foods, baked goods, and wine to complete your meal. Photo by Ken Wyner

Wegman’s has announced its new location in Alexandria in the Town Center off of Eisenhower Avenue. The Wegman’s is the anchor store of the more than 930,000 square feet development with its planned 210,000 square feet store located on the second floor. The projected opening is in 2022. The Halal Guys is coming to Alexandria Commons. The Halal Guys started in 1990 as a New York City hot dog cart and has grown into an international restaurant chain. They serve halal meals including sandwiches and platters of chicken and beef gyros, falafel, hummus, baba ganouj, and baklava.

There are lots of amazing choices for lunch and dinner. Don’t forget to get some of the red and white sauces to top off your dishes.

Junction Bakery and Bistro, 1508 Mount Vernon Ave., has added dinner service from 4:00-9:00 pm. Chef James Duke’s menu will feature American comfort foods. There will be a few interesting departures such as Thailand with a Thai street noodle soup that features his own red curry paste along with shredded chicken, coconut, Kaffir lime, and garnishes. The menu includes salads, tofu stir fry, General Tso’s cauliflower, a hot chicken sandwich with smoked gochujang Louisville fire sauce, and turkey banh mi. Chef Duke is also serving family style dinners including a whole roasted chicken with a salad, fingerling potatoes, and a selection of sauces and a boneless short rib pot roast, similar to a beef bourguignon with a salad and feeds two to three people.

Alexandria Restaurant Partners is proposing a 5,000-sq. foot waterfront restaurant serving up grilled steaks, seafood, and a full bar at 300 Strand St. and 314 Strand St., as part of Robinson Landing, a luxury condominium and townhome development. The plan includes charcoal-grilled seafood and steaks and a full bar. The plan includes a more casual companion café and an extensive outdoor pier restaurant. The main 5,000-square foot restaurant will seat 184 inside with patio seating for 83. There will be seating for 34 at the bar, 70 in the lounge area, and 128 for dining for total seating of 232 at the pier. The 2,000-square foot cafe in another building will offer indoor and outdoor seating of 64 seats with a menu including sushi. In other interesting news, Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve, Hummingbird, Eamonn’s, etc. is writing a cookbook reflecting his Irish heritage including attending a Gaelic school. He is planning to open a truly Irish food and beverage-based establishment with a location yet to be announced.

The Block features a wide variety of food stalls to satisfy everyone.

Thrillist has named nearby Annandale, Virginia a foody standout. The Korean enclave has always been the go-to for bibimbap and karaoke. The Block, 4221 John Marr Dr., is an Asian food hall featuring poke, shaved ice, pork belly pho, and oat noodle soup at the various food stands. Other standouts in the area include Lighthouse Tofu and BBQ, 4121 Chatelain Rd., for tofu stews, noodle dishes and other traditional dishes. Yechon, 4121 Hummer Rd., serves Japanese-Korean dishes from barbecue & sushi to banchan (pre-meal snacks) served 24 hours a day. Kogiya Korean BBQ, 4220-A Annandale Rd., was named one of Washingtonian’s best 100 restaurant in 2018. They grill classic Korean dishes tableside including well-marbled short ribs and tender pork belly. Breeze Bakery Cafe, 4125 Hummer Rd., bakes “every day with Fresh and Healthy ingredients.” They feature a variety of desserts, fresh breads, specialty coffee, and teas.

The cheesecake at Breeze Bakery is a not-to-be-missed delight

There’s a new source for farm raised beef, lamb, and chicken in Alexandria at the 4 Mile Run Farmer’s Market. Harmony Hill Farm, a fourth-generation farm, was established in 1975 in Shenandoah Junction WV. They produce livestock of the highest quality in a sustainable manner as they flourish with the principals of sustainability and environmental stewardship. We are proud of our agricultural heritage and are now in our fourth generation. We believe there is no better of a calling than that of feeding our fellow man. The farm produces Black Angus beef cattle, Katahdin Dorper cross sheep, heritage pork and pasture raised poultry. The primary diet of all of our livestock is pasture. By operating this way, their products are hormone and antibiotic free. We feel that we would not want to feed anyone else what we would not feed our own family.

Heather and Chris Gorman are carrying on their family tradition of Green and Growing beef, chicken, lamb, and pork.

Finally, every year, in honor of George Washington’s birthday, VisitAlexandria challenges Alexandria restaurants to create unique cherry-centric dishes in celebration of one of the more favorite legends surrounding George Washington. This year, more than 40 Alexandria restaurants participated in the 2019 Cherry Challenge. By popular vote by Alexandrians, these are restaurants that won.

Beverage: Café 44’s Sakura Bellini

Honorable Mention: River Bend Bistro

Café 44’s Sakura Bellini

Appetizer: River Bend Bistro’s Cherry and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Entrée: Lori’s Table‘s Cherry Tree Panini

Honorable Mentions: Taqueria Poblano, Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub

Dessert: Vaso’s Kitchen‘s Cherry Cheesecake

Vaso’s Kitchen’s “Cherry Cheesecake”

Honorable Mention: Tempo Restaurant

Until next time, eat well and enjoy.

Do you have a food and/or restaurant story you want told, contact [email protected]

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